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Travelling in the Southern States

perth
Level Contributor
50 posts
22 reviews
Travelling in the Southern States

Hi - It's been suggested that this is the best Forum to post my question in. I’m in Central America till mid March 2019 and after that I want to spend 2/3 weeks in the Southern States - Possibly starting from New Orleans and including Memphis, Georgia, Alabama, Southern Carolina. I’ve been looking for tours but can’t find anything that’s inclusive or operating at that time of year. Am happy to move independently by bus, train etc but wouldn’t be comfortable driving. I’ve been to Louisiana and Mississippi before but will be traveling with my sister for whom it’s all new. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

23 replies to this topic
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
10,341 posts
66 reviews
1. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

I'd just google US Southern States tours. This is a site setup for planning self guided Road Trips.

Madison, WI
Level Contributor
10,341 posts
66 reviews
2. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

too late to edit....I just did one google search and found MANY inclusive Southern States tours for March 2019. Does your sister feel comfortable driving? You all could save a lot of money by doing a self guided trip with a rental car. It would also eliminate the herds of people.

https:/…4_

Edited: 11 October 2018, 11:40
Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
34,984 posts
508 reviews
3. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

When you do your research look at reviews. Many of the lower cost tours seem to be for Asian tourists. They may speak English but the majority of the tour is in Mandarin.

I have seen it in Memphis and throughout the western national parks.

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
9,917 posts
147 reviews
4. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

Hi travel mum, I am the one who suggested that you check the road trip form and I am afraid I may have misled you. I saw the cities that you wanted to travel to and immediately thought road trip without realizing that you weren't comfortable with driving. Guided tours aren't nearly as prevalent here as they are in other countries. Train travel might be fun but you will miss a lot of the country by being limited to only the cities accessible by train.

Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
195 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

I understand driving in the states seems daunting.

But if it's just fear stopping you from driving id try my hardest to get over it.

Driving is the best way if seeing america. Even more so the south.

cincinnati, ohio
Level Contributor
3,490 posts
276 reviews
6. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

The Southeast U.S. just got hit by the worst hurricane(typhoon) in U.S. history making landfall on the Gulf Coast and tracking northeast. As of this writing it's remnant is still moving northeast.

Much of the area you wished to visit is in that zone. How much recovery is complete by the time you plan to be here is a guess - the devastation has been extensive and the area looks like a war zone.

Stay abreast of the recovery efforts and how that might affect your plans.

Good luck.

Madison, WI
Level Contributor
10,341 posts
66 reviews
7. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

The primary impact area of Hurricane Michael is linked below. Main areas that took the most force were between Panama City, FL and Apalachicola, FL. Mexico Beach, about in the middle of the two was the epicenter, and almost totally destroyed. We have a rental house between Port St. Joe and Apalachicola and have no idea at this time if it's still standing. See other link for the Mexico Beach devastation.

https://goo.gl/maps/M9zyZJ1ySV62

https:/…

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
26,349 posts
38 reviews
8. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

Yes, as this is the road trips forum, much of what we have to offer in the way of best advice really will relate to self driving. However, as this is the only forum that covers a trip extending past any single US state border, we have been know to try and offer advice for travel that involves renting no car at all!!!

Are you willing to fly at all? You mentioned inclusive tours, trains and buses in your posts so far.

I just had a quick random google around for inclusive motorcoach based tours, and the snag I found was that most covered areas you've visited and omitted several of your key destinations.

I would suggest you try posting on the New Orleans forum and see if other travellers may have done a tour of that area, for one loop, and also post on the Atlanta forum and ask similar questions for a tour that covers Georgia and the Carolinas.

Noting the very valid points posted in post 3, the companies that come up time and again with poor reviews unless you are a Chinese native are Take Tours and Tour4Fun.

You do not say what ages you are roughtly, and whether you want a fast paced, glimpse or a shorter, in depth tour. Also note that some tours have you rising at 6 am each day for a quick breakfast and be boarding the bus by 7, and yet you don't get to the next hotel until so late you then only have time for a rushed meal, quick shower and bed. No time to edit your photos or write up a diary or even catch up with TV news and think! You might see a lot, but it may all merge into one blur by the end.

Independent organised travel is the other option. Where there may be snags is that the USA is not an ideal country for this kind of travel. I'm far from any expert on this, but things to look out for are Amtrak train travel, and intercity bus routes. Better regarded bus operators include Bolt and Megabus but I don't know if they operate in any of the area you wish to visit. Greyhound offer a far more extensive route, but you need to take some precautions to use them, and I would never recommend you travel at night that way.

SWT

cincinnati, ohio
Level Contributor
3,490 posts
276 reviews
9. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

Quite frankly, traveling by bus is not only the cheapest form of travel but the roughest and generally only from depot in one city to depot in another, you have to make arrangements from there.

Amtrak is no where near the Ghan and its a sad excuse for a railroad compared to other countries but its all we have and be aware that their routes are very limited. However, if you choose rail, they will set you up with a routing where you can go from City A to City B, spend a few days sightseeing, then back on the rails to City C, and repeat the process hiring a car in each city to get around. We've done this doing several circuits and its not a bad way to go - sleepers have various size compartments available, food is included, and a steward for each car - coach doesn't. They will assist setting it up for you.

As stated above, most touring here is done by overseas companies running tours for their people. The only companies of which I'm familiar are like Grey Line that do tours of local areas, mostly in large cities like NYC or LA/San Fran.

Welcome and enjoy!!

perth
Level Contributor
50 posts
22 reviews
10. Re: Travelling in the Southern States

Thanks - will continue googling!

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